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Lighten The Load: Reduced Weight Litter Helps Humans

by | Aug 9, 2013 | Cat Behavior & Care | 14 comments

Those who follow this blog know that I rarely review products, so it has to be pretty special for me to take the time to do so. I was curious, though, having used the Tidy Cats products for many years. Recently after reviewing a number of cat box substrates, I was curious about the “lightweight” claim.

Tidy Cats LightWeight Litter–Updates to Review

UPDATE: About 2 weeks after changing the litter, Seren-Kitty developed the the “sneezles”— an upper respiratory infection. At the time, I wondered if it might have something to do with the strong aroma of the cat litter since she’d never had an issue with URI in over a decade. With treatment, she recovered, but I also noticed the new litter became more and more dusty with each new batch. Maybe that’s because we purchased in bulk at Sam’s Club. In any event, we switched to a different product by early 2014, and her “sneezles” finally went away. Coincidence? Perhaps.

ANOTHER UPDATE, February 2019: A new version of Tidy Cats LightWeight Litter has been released with claims of “no dust.” If I decide to again give the product a try, I’ll add to the update.

Tidy Cats LightWeight Litter

Tidy Cats Light Weight Litter Tidy Cats Lightweight LitterI was sent an advance sample of a new version of Tidy Cats litter to try out with my Seren-Kitty. While the product I received was free, I was not compensated for my honest review and all comments in this blog are my opinions alone.

Since I only have one tiny (6-pound) cat, litter lasts a good long time at my house. But households that have multiple cats must lug massive amounts of litter box filler. A couple of years ago when I hurt my back, there was no way I could schlep a single jug-o-litter. The weight is a big issue for many cat lovers–and Tidy Cats LightWeight version answers that challenge.

It is HALF THE WEIGHT of a comparable amount of clumping litter. No joke! The jug I was sent weighs 8.5 pounds while the same amount of a clay clumping litter in that same size jug weighs 20 pounds. PAW-some!

Clumping Cat Litter

Tidy Cats LightWeight also is a clay clumping product. The ingredients list says “natural clay and mineral product with deodorizing system.” Seren acts like it’s no different than what she’s always used. After a bit over a week’s use, I find the clumping works as well or better than the clay clumping brand I used before, and the dust level isn’t as great. Even the tracking has been reduced–yay!

My only nit is that the odor control aroma seems a bit pungent for my tastes and I worry that some cats might find that off-putting. I asked and was told the suggested retail price is $12.99 while a 20-pound “regular” Tidy Cats clumping costs about $8.50 so the Tidy Cats LightWeight costs more–but for lightening the load, it may indeed be worth it. This reduced-weight product will be released into stores sometime this fall.

Choosing Cat Litter–ASK the CAT!

Would you choose a litter half the weight of your regular litter, even if it’s a bit pricier? Is the weight, dust, tracking and/or odor control the most important aspect of choosing litter? For me, it’s whether “herself” likes the litter–and fortunately, Seren seemed to think this was the same-old-same-old as before (win-win for me!).

Along the same lines, some cats get so confused they try to “cover” when they’re outside the box. Here’s an Ask Amy that answers the why behind the behavior. With new kittens, they may need litter box training help. If your cats have litter box issues, check out this post for help.

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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book giveaways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified cat & dog behavior consultant, a consultant to the pet industry, and the award-winning author of 35+ pet-centric books and Thrillers with Bite! Oh, and she loves bling!

 

14 Comments

  1. Andrea

    Another theory I’ve read is that dominant or alpha cats leave their “do” uncovered while subordinates cover theirs. I’ve had trouble telling who’s doing what because some cats cover up what the other cats leave.:)

    I wouldn’t spend the extra money for the lighter litter, especially that much extra, because we go through so much it would break me. And I think the most important aspect is whether they use it or not and if they have any side effects from it. (I have one asthmatic cat and had one other in the past)

    P.S. I loved Seren’s cameo during your video.

    Reply
    • Amy Shojai

      Hi Andrea, That’s true that leaving scat uncovered can be a marking behavior. But when a kitty goes through the motions of covering OUTSIDE the box, I’m not sure the intent is to mark. Unless, as with dogs that run out of “juice” when leg-cocking remains a visual signal to other pets ecen when no urine mark is left? Perhaps the box/floor scratching is still a deference signal…that appeases the other animals (or is meant to appease the human) yet sends the stinky signal to the other cats? Hmnnnnn.

      Reply
  2. Karen Lucas

    I also use the fabulous Breeze system by Tidy Cat. When I got the first system, I set it up with their usual clumping litter pans (we had 4 old cats at the time) and no one used it but each week I took away one of the other litter pans and at the end the only one left was the Breeze system and they all used it even though none of them had ever experienced pellets and they were all over 12. They are gone but several cats have come into the house since then and all of them have used the Breeze system with no trouble. It is so fabulous to have no scent to worry about and no dust – I hated the dust so could not imagine how they could breathe it every time they used it.

    Reply
  3. TashaTurner

    My cat & I both need fragrance free litter. Her asthma acts up if it has a fragrance.

    I tried the tidy cat alternative box you tested & she won’t have anything to do with it which I’m really disappointed about as it is so much cleaner & lighter.

    Reply
    • Amy Shojai

      Yes, this has a pretty strong fragrance so it likely wouldn’t be a good choice for your cat. The lower dust would help, though. I wonder if the company might not develop a “fragrance free” (but odor control) product for all the asthmatic cats (and people!) that have such challenges? Hmnn, a whole new product line.

      Reply
  4. Anthony Mucci

    I recently switched to the Breeze system by Tidy Cat and I love it. No tracking and no odor. My 3 cats took to it immediately without any transition period.

    Reply
    • Amy Shojai

      Hi Anthony, for cats that accept a pelleted system, that’s a great option. Seren didn’t care for the one I tested but every cat/home is different. Ain’t it grand there are now choices to fit every circumstance (and cat?!).

      Thanks for adding to the conversation.

      Reply
  5. Karyl

    The bigger box won’t always help. LOL We have a storage container for Anubis and he still tries to dig around the outside. We finally decided he’s probably seeing the whole box as a hole, and is trying to cover the entire thing.

    Reply
    • Karyl

      and again with forgetting to check the subscribe box… geez they need to have that automatically checked for me. LOL

      Reply
    • Amy Shojai

      Cats keep us guessing, don’t they? LOL!

      Reply
      • Karyl

        One of them won’t anymore…

        we just lost Simba…

        Reply
        • Amy Shojai

          *shocked* Oh Karyl, just read this and am so very sorry. I know Simba was a senior kitty but…this seems so sudden. *wiping eyes* My deepest sympathy.

          Reply
          • Karyl

            I kinda had a feeling, ever since she hurt herself… but she started to do better so I figured maybe I was wrong… :\ Dad’s pretty upset because it was right after he gave her a pill (we checked, she hadn’t choked on it, just it upset her and put her over the edge I guess, but we HAD to give it to her, because being constipated for much longer would have killed her too…)

            We buried her out by the swing in my parents’ yard, since when she lived outside that was her favorite spot.

          • Amy Shojai

            I’m glad you got to be with her–and yes, you HAD to give the pill. Nearly anything could have tipped her over the edge. Please know that you made every right choice along the way, and she still loves you…love never dies.

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